Friday, June 14, 2013


I just received word that the young man I went to visit in hospice on Wed, that I had written in the last entry passed away this afternoon. We arrived around 12:30 pm, he'd had a rough night, had woke up disoriented, because his body wasn't getting enough oxygen. so they had induced a "nap". We waited for a few hours until he awoke...seems he was glad to see us, he hopped out of bed oxygen mask around his face, morphine pack on his shoulder, and set about getting busy setting up his recording equipment....he was a musician and had a few tracks that needed work on. He was happy, he was chatty, he was funny, he was the boy I remembered in the body of what appeared to be an old man...bald, swollen, eyes somewhat sunk...He knew what was ahead of him and he belief suggested that this wasn't anything to be concerned with it. He had, along with his two brothers, been delivered in the hands of yours truly along with my friends at an annual social situation, to supervise, possibly be a positive influence on, feed and give a home base to. One of the three was "creative" so he was under the impression that the world should work the way he thought it should. One was wanting to please and did anything he was told, one was quite and didn't take much on face value often innocently questioning some of the absolutes that I and my friends put forth. All three good boys, all three good men. The artist fell into the opiate trap, I delivered a form of eulogy at his memorial at the request of the one that just passed. as I reflect on it all, I find that they enriched my life more then I probably did theirs. They insisted that I be clear on my claims, they introduced alternative concepts that are usually present within the thoughts of the young...they would challenge me, sometimes blatantly, sometimes gently, as was their right. I begin to understand the reward of having children....I begin the understand the idea of why we're put here, why we do this thing called life.... My own existence will be a bit darker for this man's passing. If I had any influence on what kind of a man he became I feel honored...and he will be missed......

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Contemplating the middle and the end....

contemplating the end It seems I only come here to post when I feel the world closing in on me. I see that the place needs some dusting, and some general clean up….been kinda busy. Maybe I’ll clean up as I talk… Recently l have had both good and bad occur to me: I’ve been able to stay on top of my bills since I got laid off by the idiot I was working for, had a few leads for other 9 to 5 jobs, but nothing panned out, so I became one of the many self employed, getting the work done, staying on top of it, although recently that has been difficult. I have been dealing with Bronchitis for a few weeks, did the antibiotics and it still lingers. I will be heading back next week if it doesn’t resolve itself in a day or two. On top of that one of the many situations of unrequited love, rediscovered in the last few years has decided she’s done with all this. She was a bright happy girl when I knew her years ago. Not one of the “art chicks” who were crazed by nature, nurture, or self imposed fashion sense. I have plenty of those stories. But...this one was different. Her skin is the color of warm cream, her build slight, her hair fair, her blue eyes sparkled and her disposition straight from the place she was raised a girl from Ohio, less hard edged then a Jersey girl, but with all the sharpness- A girl next door in appearance and disposition but hardly virginal if you follow my drift. I missed my shot at her.I had more pressing things when she reached out to me. damnit. Anyway, she lies now in a bed of her own sweat. They give her morphine for the pain; they give her anxiety inhibitors to keep her calm to face the inevitable. She has a needle keeping fluids and salt in her veins and hooked up to machines that regulate her breathing, her heart, her temperature. She is dressed in a hospital gown and a diaper. Her arms and face are emaciated, her abdomen and legs swollen from accumulated fluids. Her liver is failing, her kidneys are barely working and stomach cancer is doing what it was designed to do. To suggest that this is Tragedy with a capitol T is down playing it. The affect that it is having is a black pall that lingers in the air. Like pollution that hangs in the air spewed forth from the smokestack of the PPG plant from my childhood, or the brown air that one must use as a filter when seeing colors in Cleveland when I was there, but thicker, heavier, darker…barely translucent. People and things appear as ghosts, seeming to glide from one spot to another, noises seem dim, muffled. We wait for our friend to punch the clock to clock out of this veil of tears. This was self imposed…for some reason this woman’s heart was broke and could not be repaired and she attempted to dull the pain with alcohol. And despite warnings that this would be the result, she couldn’t stop. I've been dealing with this for about 3 weeks, it's been a distraction from my work...Then yesterday I got more news. A boy who has barely been a man for a decade or a decade and half, married to a pretty girl who loves the hell out of him and they were trying to start a family. He started his own business that tied his interest in electronics to the family business of music, and was making one hell of a go of it too. This young man and his two brothers were occasionally entrusted to me and my friends to turn them into honorable men, as somewhat the hole in the hub, it fell on me to occasionally to separate the shit from the "Shinola" for them, as I was taught to be an honorable honest and moral man, I taught them what I could. There were three, One an artist, one a typical kinda guy, One smart and shy. The artist wanted to play the guitar. He was the most difficult cause he was stubborn, he thought the world should work his way… any creative mind. Not a makeup I'm a stranger to, that is for sure. He got involved with Heroine. He struggled with it for a few years, went into rehab, came out and someone known to all hooked him up. He died of an overdose that night, the night of his welcome home party. I was asked by the youngest brother to bring words to his memorial. I delivered his eulogy; I shared the stage with their preacher. He spoke of faith, of resurrection, of belief, of bathing in the blood of the lamb. I dear reader, as you can probably guess, brought science to the mix, I spoke of the body being a chemical electric engine that created a unique energy as could be seen in "aura photo's", I spoke of how energy could be changed, but not destroyed. I spoke of how the human body before death was actually heavier then after...something that was there is there no longer. I spoke of how this changed state is still present, and that fact could be proven. For my non religious friends, it was what they needed to hear, many hugged me and thanked me for speaking for them. The boy that asked me to bring words is the one lying there dying today. Three years ago he found out he had cancer. He fought the valiant fight, he used all the devices and systems available to modern medicine…but it wasn’t enough. They told him yesterday that there was nothing left they could do, and they’re moving him to hospice. I will be going to say my farewells with two friends, in recent history in a certain local and situation, my right and left hands…I asked both to accompany me so that I wouldn’t break down and cry. The boy doesn’t need to see that. He will deal with enough tears as he lies there looking for the inevitable. The pall becomes thicker, deeper, colder and darker. SO I am left considering both of these situations, comparing them. Both a tragic waste, One brought down from an aspiring height, a life full of potential and hope, snuffed out tragically before it had a chance to experience some of those things we all take for granted as part of life. The other, wrought with self doubt, seeking relief from the pain, to drown the sorrow. As I go through this life I doubt I will understand. I find myself just shaking my head, hiding my eyes, hoping that this short lived darkness will provide me some comfort...until the next time I feel the need to confess to a well…...

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's the end of the world.....

Salutations dear reader:
Many apologies for ignoring this my safety valve, and possibly your chance to read along as I have a melt down. I've been busy. I've been working on an upholstery framed chair...never did one of those.
However, the recent "Rapture" ripple in my otherwise tranquil life caused me to yet again find the need to vent.
The Rapture is based on a single turn of a phrase used by Paul in the letter to the Thessalonians: "...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord..."
The "rapture" scare(s) are mostly the fault of one man: an 89 year old radio preacher by the name of Harold Camping. Who states he found a secret code in the bible that allowed him to calculate when the Biblical event of the Rapture was going to occur, and that the world would end 5 years later.

Contrary to popular belief, the theory of the rapture began in the early 1830’s. It was invented by Margaret MacDonald of Scotland and promoted by Edward Irving. Margaret claimed to have had visions of the second and third coming of Christ. Irving, a Presbyterian preacher, promoted the idea that there was to be a restoration of spiritual gifts before Christ’s return. It was at that time, the 1830’s and 1840’s, when he expected Christ’s return to take place. The date for Christ’s return was set at 1844. The year came and Christ did not return. Nevertheless, many continued to follow the leadership of Irving. He emphasized the tongues gift. This was not the genuine tongues of the Acts of the Apostles, but the phony tongues of speaking gibberish and claiming it to be a gift from God. The Presbyterian Church kicked him out as his movement began to slide into high gear.

Irving was an eloquent and charismatic speaker, and therefore was able to influence large groups of people. Emotion was emphasized. The main group that continued his teachings was the Catholic Apostolic Church, of which Margaret MacDonald was a member. However, it eventually became the beginnings of modern day Pentecostal religion.

In the 1830’s, in Scotland, many people were claiming to have the gift of tongues. This, too, was the phony tongues, speaking gibberish and claiming it to be spiritual. Margaret MacDonald was sick. She thought she was dying. However, she also thought she had a vision. The vision, she claimed, revealed that Christ would return in two stages, a second coming and a third coming.

According to her belief, in stage one, Christ would be coming for the saints. In stage two, he would be coming with the saints.

The stage one would be a pre-tribulation rapture, allowing select people to go to heaven and cool their heels, while the rest of the population suffered through the tribulation. This, strangely enough, is the origin of the very popular rapture theory that has been the message behind the “Left Behind” books and movies.

The theologian John Darby visited Scotland and Margaret MacDonald. Although he was not fond of the Pentecostal gymnastics he witnessed, he did adopt the rapture theory and popularized it, so much so that even now many mistakenly believe Darby to have invented the rapture theory himself.

John Darby did invent dispensationalism, which paved the way for the cheap grace movement that was embraced by thousands of converts. Leaders taught that between the first and second coming of Christ was the dispensation of grace, with obedience to God (obedience to the Ten Commandments) optional. This belief spread like a virus over Scotland, Ireland, and parts of England.

Margaret MacDonald’s rapture theory indicated that Christ would come first in a secret rapture and silently whisk the Christians away, leaving people behind, dumbfounded over the absence of their co-workers, friends, and relatives. (

NO where in the Bible does it state that there will come a time to be discovered in the bible by God's chosen, where Jesus will come down to give a prequel to the end of days by raising the blessed up to heaven. In fact, if you have READ your bible, you see that in the book of MARK (13:32) "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. " and from Jesus himself (ACTS 1:7)He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority." IE THAT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! You'll also notice there is no mention of an old man with a secret decoder ring...
However the unfortunate people that bought into this line of BULLSHIT, don't bother to read their bibles...they have someone "INTERPRET" it for them... and according to the interpreter They twist the words in the bible to suit the hatred (fear) du jour.

Yeah I know what your thinking, 'albert, if I wanted to have the bible quoted to me, I'd visit my Aunt Rose, which I don't.'

My issue with all this is that these people hold their bibles up as a both a weapon and a shield. I don't allow a Bronze-Iron age history of a refugee people in Babylon OR the rumors surrounding the life and death of a man who knew the truth have any more then a minimum of influence over me. (What JESUS SAID wasn't actually written down till hundreds of years after the event-funny how that sorta thing can be changed and elaborated on after that much time. Ever wonder what Thomas Jeffeson actually SAID when they debated the Declaration of Independence?)

My Point in bringing all this up: You should live your life every minute of every day as though you would be meeting your maker that evening and be able to face him without shame. If you are living your life according to the Bible you hold so dear then you shouldn't be concerned about the Rapture or Armageddon, And if you are a true believer you shouldn't depend on 89 year old radio preachers to interpret it for you. Here's a HINT, sit down and read the damn book and don't depend on someone who expects you to give him donations to try and sell you this kind of bull. Society went to a lot of trouble to teach you how to read, the least you can do is exercise that skill before you go running around in hysterical circles attempting to convince the rest of us that Jesus is going to show up and boy are we gonna get it!
Its a good thing that we live in America with freedom of both speech and of belief, If it were anywhere else Mr. Camping could be held accountable for disrupting the public good, attempting to incite a riot, Fraud, and I'm thinking a few other things....125 years ago, there's a better average chance he'd have been tarred and feathered. I'm thinking the least that should happen is that Mr. Camping be held accountable for the money that was donated to him on this 2nd failed attempt to scare society by predicting a non biblical event because of a secret knowledge he has of a historically inaccurate book.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Hole in my Heart

I have bled for humanity. I have bled for individuals. I have attempted to share what God given talent I have to make the world a better place. I have lived my life as best I can and tried to make a difference.
I suppose in Satan's Eyes, I deserve all the pain I carry, I haven't made his job any easier. And, in case you are new to this world, God is indifferent. He figures' you paid your money, you take your chances. All he did was build the place and put you here. What you do while you were here is none of his affair.
I have been recently plagued with a allergic reaction to something...there are a variety of places on my body that itch constantly. Another malady to add, another complaint to make my life less then then what I wanted.
I'm wondering about happiness. We spend our lives pursuing it. Is it the same myth as as Love? That Chemical imbalance that plagues all of us at least once in our life? The moments of happiness that are balanced against the seeming months of agony?
Believe or not, I am cheerful person. The workings of the world amuses me like watching children play. The Federal Government? Slackers, idiots and fools. They are all about their own greed not caring a fig for the rest of us, until it's time to keep them at their spot at the trough...then they try and scar us-'Yeah I might be a jerk, but the other guy is Satan incarnate.' Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider "this used to be one hell of a country." Yeah Jack, it used to be. Local Government? Please...The only reason these people aren't in prison is cause they tell the police who to arrest. Family? My Family finds itself in a schism concerning if my Father has the right to his own happiness, even if he isn't. Friends? they are busy maintaining their own lives, justifiably, and i can't find fault. We are all rats here running through our own shit, rushing here and there attempting to find the missing pieces of our hearts. Attempting to find that one thing that will allow us to believe it was all worth it. Is it the destination or the trip that's important? Damn good question. Religion, Hmmmmm. I find the advocates of this form of lifestyle to be pitiful at best, and evil at pray upon fear of others for your own benefit-and the more sincere you are about it the better chance your flock will turn on you. Politicians of Heavenly office. This leaves the individual, Groups don't work well at doing anything except choosing who they are against. The world is in turmoil, and yet when you ask an individual "are you happy? is this the life you chose? would you want to change it?" you find the people that are too busy to think to be the happiest. They are distracted by the "one more thing to do" mentality. This place we find ourselves, this veil of tears...What's the purpose? Is this as I've always thought a testing sight, a place to prove ourselves? a Stage to allow us to play our part? a demolition derby where the last one up and running wins? Hmmmm...Its Tuesday. I have things I need to accomplish, things to do to maintain my life....I shall ponder this further, if I come up with answers I'll be sure to post them, but for now I'm thinking that it's all pretty pointless;that we're on our own here, that it's as pointless as the bug that accidentally gets in the way of a car speeding down the highway...we all end up as a casualty of life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The End of the Year

Hello dear reader, I can only imagine that you're here out of some sense of obligation or curious as to what I may reveal of my colorful history that usually defines what I recall of my life.
I sit and stare out the plate glass windows of my studio. I occasionally feel like an exhibit in a zoo. The front of my place is a wall of glass that looks into my studio. My living quarters are hidden by unseen doors and undetectable windows. My home would be a fine exhibit in a zoo. I don't mind, I'm allowed the privacy of some sort of anonymity. The people who look in have no idea who I am, what I am, or why I'm here. it works. I in my self imposed exile from a world that rejected me as a child. They in their tiny little lives that will come to little or no significance. Most will end as nothing more then a name on a stone over what remains of their life.

It appears that the there is a hole in the color tube for the outside world. I'm unsure if its because of the overcast sky or the time of year, but the world appears to be a hand colored black and white photograph, the color subtle, almost just a hint of life...just contrast. Variations of gray. The soundtrack of the studio includes screaming guitars and rhythmic base lines, thus reinforcing the contrast of the world...It is the soundtrack of my college career and the time just post. I found one of these streaming radio stations and when asked what I wanted to listen to I typed in "The Cure". I recognize most of what I hear, and like most people I'm able to associate the familiarity of the sounds to an event or occurrence of the time I heard it for the first or second time. And typical of a memory it always plays in black and white. ...The pretty girls now all middle aged women-their perky breasts now pendulous-their smooth skin now loose and showing the signs of time. The Guys I knew that were all attitude, recently grown into their bodies and on the hunt for self realization and to get laid are now old farts without waists but with high blood pressure. The topic of conversation is no longer how polluted you got at the party, what band released a new album, where you can score a bag or how so and so was in the sack, but about prostrates, prescriptions,and periodontal problems. The world is black and white...I see only values of gray with a hint of color to it to remind me that I and it are actually vital and that it isn't a memory. It is the present, a series of fleeting moments that pass by like a each event turns the corner and comes to view, passes to allow me to experience it and then plunges into memory. The significance of sand passing in grains from one end of a thin passage to another is suddenly not lost on me. I am at the end of my 53rd year. I am cursed with a very sharp and complete memory...I can recall with great clarity most of the moments that passed that define my life. I feel like Billy Pilgrim, One moment I am a child living in the shadow of Catholicism and a smoke stack that spews black granulated waste from the processing of Soda Ash-afraid of Nun's and bully's...the next I'm in the jungle looking deep into the thousands of values of green that lied within, wondering what lay ahead for me in college, the next I'm in High School attempting to talk my recent teenage interest into a kiss under the bag of Mistletoe I'd bought from the band that they were selling to raise money, the next I'm spending Christmas day making the cabinets for my kitchen the first year I'm in North Carolina No longer afraid of second I'm looking to the blue gray of Dagmar's eyes-her toes brushing my calf; the next, caressing Meggen's thigh wondering if it would last, the next wondering if Debbie was a moaner or a screamer; the next sitting in Christine's parents house as she shows them the candlestick holder that I'd spent 4 days and nights finishing for her-the next looking at the finished piece in front of me, getting that slight chill at seeing the realization of the product of my recent labors....I look across the field of my life...I turn to look out the window. The stark white of the building across the street, the grayed orange and yellow of the bricks, the gray green of the awning, the light gray of the asphalt, the beige gray of the sidewalks...the blue-gray, red-gray, tan-gray of the cars that are momentarily in front of my portal into the universe...rushing about like ants to get all their chores and errands done before Friday when the world will simply stop in preparations for Christmas. On Christmas all business' will be closed, the mall will be deserted, the streets will only have travelers going from one quaint attempt at a memory to another-it will be silent, blessed silence roaring silence. Pictures taken, occurrences will become chemical recipe's in brains- All to mark time. All to make this year significant; to prove that this year counted. I sit and ponder the last handful of grains/moments that will define this year in my future. I need to return to my constant proof that I was here on this earth and used my time adding to the fabric of the universe...

Enjoy the remainder of the year, remember the insignificant things and pray for a better next year then this one.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The long road down the hole

Its been a rough few months...My Unemployment ran out last July and I got a taste of just how screwed up our government is. I've looked for work in areas that I would never have considered. I thought I'd gotten a job, but when the day came and the guy who had hired me and told me to show up then stated he didn't think I would. Adding he thought it would be a bad fit...I assured him that all jobs were the same...I didn't do them cause I was an eccentric millionaire needing something to do with my time. He just shook his head and stated he didn't think I'd show up, he'd seen my online portfolio and realized that I was incredibly talented and he really didn't think I had a place there. I was shocked why hadn't he said this when he hired me? This guy had wasted 2 weeks of my time. I had been running around trying to get things tied up so I could report for work with few distractions and then wasted my whole morning. I had shown up at 7:30 to begin my shift and told to come back at 9-he got around to seeing me about 10. He wasted my Morning for nothing...he kept saying he didn't think I'd show up...I have a few choice words for this jerk, but I will not labor you with them....As I said...been a rough few months.

I feel despondent. I feel like a failure cause I cannot secure steady employment. I have a friend who has hired me for a few projects around her house, for which I am not only grateful, but I consider this a solid hand while I sink in quicksand. For any who know me, know I never ever forget assistance when I need it, and pay it back 1,000 per cent. My soul has been dwelling in dark places lately and I suppose that's what I want to talk about.

At this writing we're about 4 days away from a somewhat special Holiday to this culture. Its our Autumn feast...but that isn't what we call it. We call it Thanksgiving. tradition says it includes a meal that is more food then twice the number of people you have at the table could consume. It includes one of the bigger domestic edible birds available and a collection of various vegetables, tubers, breads, sweets etc...and then there's the first "Christmas Parades" and the starting mark for Christmas, sorta the first of the infamous "holidays" that our culture use to end our year...But there's more to it then a big meal, companionship, parades and family gathering.
The words used to make this term are important...You give thanks. You give, and you are thankful for what you have. it is a sharing, a time when you reflect near the end of the year and make note of what has happened and how you were spared for it being worse. You are thankful for what you have and at the top of the list are the various friends, relatives, and associates that have made your year something other then the misery it would be without them. The guy that has just the right screwdriver you need for a job that says when your done with it "keep it, you used it more then I have...obviously you need it, if I need it I know where to find it." The woman married to a friend that you haven't seen since her 26 year old daughter made her debut appearance telling you "you always have a place here, Albert." Or the guy who knows you're addicted to nicorette gum and Extra winterfresh and walks in with about a case of each having found the former at a clearance sale and the latter at Sam's club...hands you the receipt and says "pay me when you get employed." The friend who you collect a dept for and he hands you 2/3 of the money you just gave him and says "you can use this more then I can. I'll call you the next time I need some crazy piece of furniture assembled." The former co worker who knows your building a computer desk and drags a under table keyboard mount that brand new costs about $150 and says "take this damn thing, I'm tired of tripping over it." My father who knowing my health insurance is a huge debt I must cover monthly sends me a check every month for a bit more then that amount and asks when I speak to him every week "is there anything else I can do for you?"
There's the friends who notice the blue tone to your internet social page posts and contact you with concern, an occasional lead and encouraging words. There are the people you do business with who allow you to pay your bill in installments, claiming "its only paper, you give it to me and I give it to somebody else...I know you'll take care of this when you can." There's the friends who call you and say "what are you doing for dinner? yeah well your coming here tonight." and call you to come over so they can load a couple of boxes of food in your truck cause they just cleaned out their kitchen cabinets and you can use it better then they can.
I have much to give thanks for. This two year period has been one of the most frustrating periods of my life. I have had relationships born, flower and evaporate. I have found out who are my friends are, and who only wanted me around to find out what I knew. I have been humbled, I have been exalted. I have been shown the kind of love you can only see in these situations. Its that strong hand that reaches for yours when you feel completely alone and its you and the world squaring off for round three and your getting you ass kicked. Its that hand on your shoulder that says..."you might not have much pal, but you have me watching your back." Its that call from a neighbor who says "hey, what are you doing? I have a table I need to move can you give me a hand with it?" with no mention that you still owe him $20.
I find myself thankful for much. I am not hungry, I have a roof over my head. I have access to any form assistance a man could desire should I ask. I have plenty to keep my mind occupied and people who believe in me and know I'm a pretty good bet. Yes, I lack Money. Yes I lack the approval of society because I am not part of the tax paying work force that keeps the economy humming, I can't be thankful for "things". However I think that i was forced to live through this to solidify in my head what is really important.
I have always seen myself as apart from the "herd". Independent in both thought and deed-on the outside looking in. {I jokingly will state that if I'd have known that this 'ruling in hell" shit was going to be that much of a pain in the ass I'd have reconsidered it.) If anything I lead because I knew the direction i must go and asked little advice and no quarter. Its funny when you walk in front you rarely see the people who follow your example, your words, your must fall, you must stumble and be unable to pull yourself up before you know how many hands reach out to lend you assistance. SO, for this I am grateful, cause its the best thing you can ever have....Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours....

Thursday, August 05, 2010

...and things fall apart.

I sit in my studio, a real barn burner of a storm is kicking up...the thunder rolls across the sky like a herd of buffalo, or a sharp crackle sounding like wood splintering or cloth tearing.. the rain falls, sounding gentle but probably coming down in drops that a 3/8" across...It is late...I should make some dinner and feed Claire, my cat.
However before I pursue closing my life down for a night I think to myself...what the HELL is going on around me?
Let me explain...I've been unemployed now for a month longer then 2 years. I spent my life learning a trade, being the go to guy, being the guy who knew the most and could build anything that was designed that didn't defy the laws of physics. It took 25 years but now I am that guy...I should be teaching the next generation how to do some of this stuff...I should be running some poor schmucks shop while he goes out and sells. I should be starting to think about my retirement...Yeah right.
The state unemployment office (which is about the finest example of confusion in bureaucracy you can even begin to imagine...NO body Knows whats going on from one minute to the next) had assured me at the end of June that I had nothing to worry about as far as my unemployment was concerned... So much so they called me in to show me how they wanted me to keep my records of my job searches from now on. I'm supposed to have had three places I sought work from. I spent an hour writing down the actual web address of Craigslist, for both the major areas around, the large newspaper in the area, and of course their own job search page...and when I gave a sweeping Monday through Friday set of dates they wanted to know SPECIFICALLY when I looked for work at these places. ("that is the specific dates, I go to these places and look every day...") and when I was done they assured me that despite the anniversary I had nothing to worry about...Two weeks later I found out cause I was curious as to whether I should use the number I was issued or my SS# for my future calls in to assure them I had been looking for work and wasn't getting any other money from anyplace else...I was informed that my benefits were exhausted....BUT you SAID...Yeah well, its over. BUT I ASKED....! Yeah sorry we misled you...
SO... I've been going nuts trying to find a job. From hammer handles, to closets, from millwork to caskets, if its made out of wood in a 30 mile radius from home, I have spoken to them...and nobody, nobody, nobody is hiring...except three places.

I had three interviews...two were with temp services acting as a go between for manufacturers...the third was for the biggest cabinet shop on the east coast: the first temp office was for a job running a panel saw...I have run panel fact the last moron I worked for bought one because of my advice and I assembled it without a set of plans...they wanted to pay me $11 an hour,(w no benefits)for 6 months, starting at 6:30 am...with a mandatory amount of overtime. The job was 1 1/2 hours away if the traffic was with me. I would have had to gotten on the road between 4:30 and 4:45 to get there on time...I had have to give up my teaching job cause I couldn't get home from greensboro one night a week at 10:30 and plan on getting up 5 1/2 hours later to go to work. I had to turn it down...
the next was the big cabinet shop...They wanted me to run an edge bander...not a problem, haven't worked with one in 20 years, but I know how to use one...SAME thing, mandatory over time 12 hours 4 days a week, 10 hours the 5th, and half a day the 6th...I told them fine, as long as I was out of there on monday's by 6 pm...the only day...I teach, I gave my word I'd do this, we're into the class about half way. they told me they'd be in contact...still haven't heard from them. doubt I will. the third was a company 45 minutes due south...I called them, they told me that they had absolutely NO plans to hire any body permanent for quite a while, but they were using a temp service. Spoke to them their office is over an hour due west. I went for the interview. This job was for $9 an hour ( I was making $9 an hour as an apprentice almost 25 years ago) with a mandatory 9 to 24 hours of overtime-with the idea being that if you held out there would be a permanent job with benefits at the end of it...what she didn't know was that I had spoken to the human relations of this same business and was told that pigs would fly first. When I mentioned the class I teach, the woman took all the forms I'd spent half an hour filling out and dropped them in the trash saying she was sorry that I drove all that way for nothing.

What in the hell happened to this country? We fought labor wars in the last century to keep this sorta crap from happening. A guaranteed 40 hour work week, voluntary overtime. This was YOUR job, they didn't own you. The rich that got this country in the situation that its in now will only hire you back if your willing to sleep on a cot next to your work station or damn near. We have 10% unemployment but they want to work the lucky few damn near to death to save a few bucks on benefits? I'm a human being. I have honed my skills and can build anything that can be designed...I built stuff that my EMPLOYER designed but had no concept how to build...and they want to chain me to a machine for little more then gas money to get me to work so that they can work me for 65 hours a week...I get Sunday off? That is a concession I'm sure will change in time...for WHAT? What about my life? What about the pursuit of happiness guaranteed me in the hallowed Declaration of Independence and Constitution? I have worked all my life, I have done good work, I have not stolen from my employer nor cheated one. I have spent my life learning to be the best at what I do, cause ya know what? That's what AMERICANS do....we are not a slave state, we don't sell our souls for the privilege of spending our lives serving technology and somebody that has more then he can spend. My Grandfather, a card carrying member of a union is turning in his grave right now...people were hurt and some died to assure the world that the American worker was not a slave, that he did his job the best he knew how to do and had time for his family, his community, himself....What the HELL happened to this country?